No, But It’s Past Due For Overhaul

A JEMS article on the Austin-Travis County EMS System asks is Austin’s EMS system broken?

Honestly, ATCEMS hasn’t been anywhere near as good as its press clippings for at least ten years. See: laurels, resting on.

The article concludes:

“Using the ICMA six signs as a diagnostic, one could conclude the Austin-Travis County EMS system is in distress. The EMS system’s current performance, structure and funding do make it stable. Stakeholders may not be comfortable with the current outcomes, but the system is not “broken” and could be repaired. Doing so would require laser focus on shared outcomes, heavy emphasis on engagement and communication, and a collaborative action plan to change. The will and resources are present to achieve the aim if there’s community interest and strong leadership to do so.”

If you can wade through the facts, figures and EMS bureaucratese, it would seem that ATCEMS no longer meets most of the benchmarks for quality EMS systems.

People forget, however, that benchmarks are not the sole measure of a system, for the simple reason that just because something can be measured doesn’t mean that it should be measured, or that the measurement is even relevant to the quality of patient care delivered.

And from my sources intimately familiar with that system, it’s in even worse shape than even the benchmarks would indicate.

There is one sure way to break it beyond repair, though:

Merge it with the fire department.

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